Author Topic: Mathematics  (Read 658 times)

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Online DavidW

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Re: Mathematics
« Reply #40 on: June 23, 2022, 05:29:32 AM »
Actually, it was Michigan. Things may be different now though, that was mid-1970s. And you're right: we didn't see Hamilton at all in that course. However, where I teach now, our upper division classical mechanics course does at least show the students Hamilton's equations.

That is good to hear.  Since my experience is based upon when I went to college it is dated.  As a big example, what I did in college were all pencil and paper calculations.  My former students that went into Physics became so well versed in computational methods that they ended up in careers in data science instead of physics!

Offline Biffo

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Re: Mathematics
« Reply #41 on: June 23, 2022, 05:39:06 AM »
That is good to hear.  Since my experience is based upon when I went to college it is dated.  As a big example, what I did in college were all pencil and paper calculations.  My former students that went into Physics became so well versed in computational methods that they ended up in careers in data science instead of physics!

I am beginning to feel a bit less decrepit - but not much. Here in the UK they were starting to introduce 'Modern Maths' and I was in the last year at my school that did the old syllabus. Modern Maths seem to date from the 18th century or later, the stuff I did from the 5th century BCE. Actually we did a lot of calculus (late 17th century). Pocket caculators were still in the future and we used log tables.

Offline krummholz

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Re: Mathematics
« Reply #42 on: June 23, 2022, 05:14:15 PM »
That is good to hear.  Since my experience is based upon when I went to college it is dated.  As a big example, what I did in college were all pencil and paper calculations.  My former students that went into Physics became so well versed in computational methods that they ended up in careers in data science instead of physics!

Similar experience here: I didn't learn much about computational methods in class and had to teach myself how to code when doing my dissertation. In our courses, we learned analytical methods exclusively... and despite the importance of computers today in research, even today, where I work now, the same is true in the core courses, including classical, quantum, and E&M. Junior/senior lab is a different story, and colleagues who've taught it have taken the opportunity to introduce the students to Python and to computational techniques (I've yet to be assigned to teach that course though).

Offline Mapman

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Re: Mathematics
« Reply #43 on: June 23, 2022, 05:27:30 PM »
That is good to hear.  Since my experience is based upon when I went to college it is dated.  As a big example, what I did in college were all pencil and paper calculations.  My former students that went into Physics became so well versed in computational methods that they ended up in careers in data science instead of physics!

At my college, they introduced Lagrangian mechanics to some freshmen, but only ones who had taken AP Physics. I didn't, so I don't know the full contents of that course. The advanced classical mechanics course covered most of the book by Taylor, which includes a brief introduction to Hamiltonian mechanics; however I didn't understand the connection to Quantum until graduate Classical Mechanics.

We had two undergraduate courses in Quantum mechanics, the first mostly wave mechanics and the second heavily using linear algebra. I much preferred the second semester. (Instead of Griffiths, we used the two books by Townsend. The second semester used Quantum Mechanics.)

I, like you, also took the Putnam exam (twice), and was able to solve one problem each time. (Although, to be fair, one of the years had a particularly "easy" first problem.)

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Mathematics
« Reply #44 on: June 23, 2022, 07:07:36 PM »
At my college, they introduced Lagrangian mechanics to some freshmen, but only ones who had taken AP Physics. I didn't, so I don't know the full contents of that course. The advanced classical mechanics course covered most of the book by Taylor, which includes a brief introduction to Hamiltonian mechanics; however I didn't understand the connection to Quantum until graduate Classical Mechanics.

I have no idea what you guys are talking about; however, it reminds me of possibly the most off-putting intro to a textbook ever written. This is from States of Matter by David L. Goodstein:

"Ludwig Boltzmann, who spent much of his life studying Statistical Mechanics, died in 1906, by his own hand. Paul Ehrenfest, carrying on the work, died similarly in 1933. Now it is our turn to study Statistical Mechanics."
formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

"Who knows not strict counterpoint, lives and dies an ignoramus" - CPE Bach

Offline Biffo

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Re: Mathematics
« Reply #45 on: June 24, 2022, 12:51:19 AM »
I have no idea what you guys are talking about; however, it reminds me of possibly the most off-putting intro to a textbook ever written. This is from States of Matter by David L. Goodstein:

"Ludwig Boltzmann, who spent much of his life studying Statistical Mechanics, died in 1906, by his own hand. Paul Ehrenfest, carrying on the work, died similarly in 1933. Now it is our turn to study Statistical Mechanics."

Strange (?) coincidence, the lecturer who taught us Statistical Mechanics also committed suicide.

Online DavidW

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Re: Mathematics
« Reply #46 on: June 24, 2022, 06:57:03 AM »
I, like you, also took the Putnam exam (twice), and was able to solve one problem each time. (Although, to be fair, one of the years had a particularly "easy" first problem.)

Nice!

Offline Scion7

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Re: Mathematics
« Reply #47 on: June 24, 2022, 07:23:28 PM »


 ;)
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline Florestan

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Re: Mathematics
« Reply #48 on: June 25, 2022, 06:08:39 AM »
I have no idea what you guys are talking about; however, it reminds me of possibly the most off-putting intro to a textbook ever written. This is from States of Matter by David L. Goodstein:

"Ludwig Boltzmann, who spent much of his life studying Statistical Mechanics, died in 1906, by his own hand. Paul Ehrenfest, carrying on the work, died similarly in 1933. Now it is our turn to study Statistical Mechanics."

Strange (?) coincidence, the lecturer who taught us Statistical Mechanics also committed suicide.

As a Romanian poet put it:

Do not inquire into these laws,
For you go crazy if you understand them.


Original, rhyming:

Nu cerceta aceste legi,
Că eşti nebun când le-nţelegi!




"I’ve always said music should make you laugh, make you cry or make you think." - Kenny Rogers

Offline steve ridgway

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Re: Mathematics
« Reply #49 on: June 27, 2022, 05:47:57 AM »
Certainly you've mastered turning it off and then on again! :D



The usual answer to that was “I can’t find the power button with all the lights in here having gone off”! :'(

Offline Szykneij

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Re: Mathematics
« Reply #50 on: June 27, 2022, 07:45:19 AM »
The usual answer to that was “I can’t find the power button with all the lights in here having gone off”! :'(

 ;D  ;D  ;D
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Offline steve ridgway

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Re: Mathematics
« Reply #51 on: June 27, 2022, 07:47:51 AM »
Or “Well it all worked last Friday when we were in the old warehouse”. ::)